Waiting for Asa

My wife is nine months pregnant and the baby is due now, literally any day. And so for the last couple of weeks we have spent our days waiting — waiting for Asa, which is what we’re pretty sure we’re going to call our boy. It is Sunday morning and it has been snowing steadily since Friday at noon, accumulating a significant amount of light powdery snow all around. It’s our first snow of the year and Rascal is beside himself with delight: snow is the most exciting thing possible in a little dog’s world. I’m not sure why; maybe because it means infinite digging, and there is nothing little terriers like more than digging.

The last couple of weeks have had frantic waiting – my to-do list prior to the baby’s arrival was gigantic, enormous, incomprehensible. But as the holidays have approached, and I’ve been able to get a lot done, things have slowed down. There are still a few urgent things, but generally the pace and meter of the waiting has slowed to a crawl, so that it is me, Morra, our dog, our cat, the snow and waiting. We’ve gone from an urgent, frantic waiting to a slow, waiting-out-a-blizzard, zen-like waiting. I am reminded of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle; there is an early chapter in the book told from the point of view of the dog, Almondine. It is, I think, the only chapter in the book told from the dog’s point of view, and in my opinion it is the best chapter of the entire book, really stands head and shoulders above the rest of the book. And the chapter is about the dog, waiting. The dog knows she is waiting for someone or something; the dog is constantly poking around the house and barn – knows this thing she is waiting for is present but not here – and she is perplexed, but also excited, eager and patient. And then finally this thing arrives, and it is a baby boy, and Almondine understands this is what she has been waiting for.

So we’re waiting. Even the cat and the dog seem to understand we’re waiting for something, something exciting. Waiting for Asa.

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